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Old 14th November 2007, 08:02   #341
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3hard View Post
And 6 years ago the top 10 were:
1 G.D. McGrath
2 S.M. Pollock
3 M. Muralidaran
4 A.A. Donald
5 D. Gough
6 S.K. Warne
7 Saqlain Mushtaq
8 Waqar Younis
9 C.L. Cairns
10 H.H. Streak

The top 10 has always been a mixture of top class bowlers with a few 'others' thrown in. I dont think today's is all that much worse than some others in the last 10 or so years, particularly given that two of the best ever have just retired.

And don't forget, it took McGrath more than 3 years before he cracked the ICC top 10. After 8 Tests he was averaging >43.
The two previous lists sound a lot stronger than the current one to me.
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Old 14th November 2007, 10:19   #342
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Originally Posted by Fatslogger View Post
I don't think Asif missed any tests. He did miss some ODIs although I think that was put down rather conveniently to injury.

The bowling stocks are pretty empty aren't they? Some of it is clearly to do with the batsmen friendly wickets and perhaps a bit more to some very good batsmen making it difficult to be a bowler. I can't help but feel that there just isn't the quality there in test attacks though, in the main, especially in the pace department.
Asif missed three tests against the West Indies in 2006/7. Here's proof- Wisden said about the first one:

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In the absence of the suspended Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Asif, the unsung new-ball pairing of Umar Gul and Shahid Nazir shared 15 wickets against opponents whose batting was a let-down, apart from Lara's brilliance in both innings.
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Old 14th November 2007, 11:19   #343
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Originally Posted by Fatslogger View Post
The two previous lists sound a lot stronger than the current one to me.
Well sure, McGrath and Warne are missing. It doesn't take a genius to conclude that if you take out to of the best bowlers in history, world bowling stocks will be weaker. The point I was trying to make was that besides Warne and McGrath, the other bowlers in the top 10 today aren't that much different in class from those previous lists (eg Cairns, Streak, Vaas, Harmison).
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Old 14th November 2007, 15:54   #344
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Well sure, McGrath and Warne are missing. It doesn't take a genius to conclude that if you take out to of the best bowlers in history, world bowling stocks will be weaker. The point I was trying to make was that besides Warne and McGrath, the other bowlers in the top 10 today aren't that much different in class from those previous lists (eg Cairns, Streak, Vaas, Harmison).
I'm still not sure I agree. The Harmison of three years ago was a rather nasty beast, even if he had done his demolition acts on the weaker sides. Comparing the lists, I'd hardly take a single bowler from the current one over his opposite number from six years back apart from perhaps Shoaib over Streak (and that's only because Shoaib is lower than he would otherwise be based on missing games). Comparing now with three years ago, I'd take Murali over Harmison (and the way Harmy was bowling then even that's close) and that's probably it. Of course, the rankings are partly historical so there are oddities like Pollock still being well up there but even so, I find the disparity pretty striking. Okay, missing two of the best bowlers ever is a big part of it but it isn't just that and it's also the case that people ought to have progressed to take their slots. Instead we've got a lot of bowlers who are on the decline, suggesting a real shortage of young talent.
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Old 19th November 2007, 04:08   #345
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Comparing the lists, I'd hardly take a single bowler from the current one over his opposite number from six years back apart from perhaps Shoaib over Streak (and that's only because Shoaib is lower than he would otherwise be based on missing games).
Well lets look at them bowler for bowler, ignoring McGrath and Warne so we can test the depth of cricket without them:

Murali (now) vs Pollock (2001). Surely youíd have to pick the (soon to be) worldís highest wicket taker.

Ntini (now) vs Murali (2001). Again youíd pick Murali, although Ntini has averaged under 24 for the last three years and is arguably bowling better now than at any other stage of his career.

Clark (now) vs Donald (2001). Donald was a great bowler in his prime, but in 2001 was at the very end of his career and his effectiveness was greatly diminished. Probably Clark.

Bond (now) vs Gough (2001). Iíd like to pick the explosiveness of Bond, but his constant injury problems make me lean to Gough, although he too was nearing the end of his Test career.

Pollock (now) vs Mushtaq (2001). Pollock is past his best, so Iíd go for Mushtaq, but itís a pretty marginal call.

Kumble (now) vs Younis (2001). Iíve always liked Younis, so Iíll pick him, but once again he was very close to the end of his career at this time.

Hoggard (now) vs Cairns (2001). Hoggard.

Steyn (now) vs Streak (2001). Steyn.

Lee (now) vs Kumble (2001). Lee

Akhtar (now) vs Gillespie (2001). Gillespie.

5-all I reckon.

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Originally Posted by Fatslogger View Post
Comparing now with three years ago, I'd take Murali over Harmison (and the way Harmy was bowling then even that's close) and that's probably it.
Letís see now vs 3 years ago:

Murali (now) vs Harmison (2004). Iíll be consistant and pick Murali, even though Harmison was very good at this time. Interestingly subsequent to November 2004 Harmyís 100 odd wickets have come at an average of 36.9

Ntini (now) vs Pollock (2004). As I said previously, Ntini has averaged under 24 for the last three years and is arguably bowling better now than at any other stage of his career. Pollock was well past his best of the late Ď90ís. Ntini, just, for this one.

Clark (now) vs Murali (2004). Murali.

Bond (now) vs Akhtar (2004). Interesting couple to compare. Iíll pick Akhtar, but thereís not much in it.

Pollock (now) vs Gillespie (2004). Gillespie, but like Harmy, after 2004 it was all downhill for him.

Kumble (now) vs Kumble (2004). Kumble 2004.

Hoggard (now) vs Vaas (2004). Hoggard.

Steyn (now) vs Ntini (2004). Steyn is pretty untested, but Ntini was having a rough trot in 2003-2004 so Iíll go for Steyn.

Lee (now) vs H Singh (2004). Lee is bowling well now, but Singh was consistently better at the time.

Akhtar (now) vs Kaneria (2004). Hard to judge Akhtar at the moment, and Kaneria was never a superstar. Iíll make this a 50:50.

So I get 5:4 in favour of the 2004, with one undecided.

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Okay, missing two of the best bowlers ever is a big part of it but it isn't just that and it's also the case that people ought to have progressed to take their slots. Instead we've got a lot of bowlers who are on the decline, suggesting a real shortage of young talent.
Sounds like youíre talking about 2001 to me Ė four bowlers on the way out (Donald, Gough, Younis, Cairns), with no young obvious young talent coming up. I wonder how often there have been many bowlers under 25 in the top 20 rankings over time?

We have some young players starting to make a name for themselves in Tests such as Steyn, Asif, Pathan and Gul. Who knows how they will turn out? Not to mention several who either havenít made their debutís, or have only just started: Johnson, Hilfenhaus, Tait, Philander, Morkel, Broad.
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Old 19th November 2007, 05:57   #346
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Unfortunately the ICC seem to have changed the team rankings pages, so we now don't have the ability to check what the team rankings might be given different series scenarios. We also can't see the historical data.

Anyway, I see SA have now moved to third place in the Test rankings table, and are only 2 points behind England. If England perform poorly in Sri Lanka I wonder if there is any chance they will lose their number 2 ranking, possibly for the first time since 2003 or 2004??
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Old 19th November 2007, 21:27   #347
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I like this one. It's almost as good as Tait's test batting record. In fact, I'm still disappointed nobody bit on the comments on the follow on I made on that thread. I'd say that the removal of McGrath and Warne from the old lists makes it a bit of an artificial game. One might as well remove Murali from the current list as a legend of the game who will retire in the next few years (or even sooner if he keeps having to bowl at Aussie batsmen on Aussie wickets). Anyway, I suppose it's rather a dull game with Warne and McGrath in because it's a very easy win for the 2001 and 2004 lists. Let's try it your way. I'm going to use ICC ranking points for some of the decisions but I'm too lazy to look them all up.

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Originally Posted by 3hard View Post
Well lets look at them bowler for bowler, ignoring McGrath and Warne so we can test the depth of cricket without them:

Murali (now) vs Pollock (2001). Surely youíd have to pick the (soon to be) worldís highest wicket taker.
Agree but only just about. Pollock was very strong back then.

Quote:
Ntini (now) vs Murali (2001). Again youíd pick Murali, although Ntini has averaged under 24 for the last three years and is arguably bowling better now than at any other stage of his career.
Easy win for Murali. Ntini's current rating is 824 and Murali spent the vast majority of 2001 above that mark. Incidentally, when in 2001 did you pick?

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Clark (now) vs Donald (2001). Donald was a great bowler in his prime, but in 2001 was at the very end of his career and his effectiveness was greatly diminished. Probably Clark.
Donald's rating at the start of 2001 and even right at the end of his career was a good bit higher than Clark's 750. Still, I don't think it's that useful a way of comparing the two bowlers given its mainly historical nature. Clark is ahead, as you say.

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Bond (now) vs Gough (2001). Iíd like to pick the explosiveness of Bond, but his constant injury problems make me lean to Gough, although he too was nearing the end of his Test career.
I've got a different list. Gough probably was the better bet, anyway. In fact, he improved his rating over the year but then lost points in the 2001 Ashes.

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Pollock (now) vs Mushtaq (2001). Pollock is past his best, so Iíd go for Mushtaq, but itís a pretty marginal call.
Pollock isn't even selected as one of the best three SA pace bowlers, despite his batting. This isn't marginal, it's a slaughter.

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Kumble (now) vs Younis (2001). Iíve always liked Younis, so Iíll pick him, but once again he was very close to the end of his career at this time.
I think I might go for Kumble, actually. Both are near career end at the time chosen though.

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Hoggard (now) vs Cairns (2001). Hoggard.

Steyn (now) vs Streak (2001). Steyn.

Lee (now) vs Kumble (2001). Lee

Akhtar (now) vs Gillespie (2001). Gillespie.

5-all I reckon.
I'd agree except for Lee v Kumble. I don't really rate Lee, better though he's been in the last couple of years. Mind you, Kumble seems to have been at a bit of a low ebb around then too. Still, Kumble.

I appear to make it 5-5 too.

Quote:
Letís see now vs 3 years ago:

Murali (now) vs Harmison (2004). Iíll be consistant and pick Murali, even though Harmison was very good at this time. Interestingly subsequent to November 2004 Harmyís 100 odd wickets have come at an average of 36.9
I've already said I'd go for Murali myself but it's close.

Ntini (now) vs Pollock (2004). As I said previously, Ntini has averaged under 24 for the last three years and is arguably bowling better now than at any other stage of his career. Pollock was well past his best of the late Ď90ís. Ntini, just, for this one.[/quote]

Pollock was well ahead on rating for the whole of 2004 though. I'd go for him, especially as Ntini subjectively has looked a little less impressive in the last year.

Quote:
Clark (now) vs Murali (2004). Murali.

Bond (now) vs Akhtar (2004). Interesting couple to compare. Iíll pick Akhtar, but thereís not much in it.

Pollock (now) vs Gillespie (2004). Gillespie, but like Harmy, after 2004 it was all downhill for him.

Kumble (now) vs Kumble (2004). Kumble 2004.
All pretty clear cut, I'd say.

Quote:
Hoggard (now) vs Vaas (2004). Hoggard.
I find Vaas a hard bowler to rate. He's so good on the subcontinent and so mediocre everywhere else. He finished 2001 strongly but clearly Hoggard, I agree.

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Steyn (now) vs Ntini (2004). Steyn is pretty untested, but Ntini was having a rough trot in 2003-2004 so Iíll go for Steyn.
Tough call that one. Ntini improved in 2004 and rated higher for the whole of that year than Steyn does now. Still, Steyn is on the up and still doesn't have his full ranking as he doesn't have 100 test wickets so I'll agree with you.

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Lee (now) vs H Singh (2004). Lee is bowling well now, but Singh was consistently better at the time.
Agreed.

Akhtar (now) vs Kaneria (2004). Hard to judge Akhtar at the moment, and Kaneria was never a superstar. Iíll make this a 50:50.[/quote]

Akhtar for me. Kaneria is mediocre, was mediocre and always will be mediocre. Where did he come from anyway? He was 21st at the start of 2004.

Quote:
So I get 5:4 in favour of the 2004, with one undecided.
I make it 6:4 to 2004 myself.

Well that was fun but I'm not sure I've made any real progress with the underlying question.

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Sounds like youíre talking about 2001 to me Ė four bowlers on the way out (Donald, Gough, Younis, Cairns), with no young obvious young talent coming up. I wonder how often there have been many bowlers under 25 in the top 20 rankings over time?

We have some young players starting to make a name for themselves in Tests such as Steyn, Asif, Pathan and Gul. Who knows how they will turn out? Not to mention several who either havenít made their debutís, or have only just started: Johnson, Hilfenhaus, Tait, Philander, Morkel, Broad.
The thing about the lists is that they do always look stuffed with older bowlers on the way out because they have such a large historical element and of course, because great bowlers tend to play on for a while. My concern is that so few of the top 20 are up and coming bowlers by comparison with the number on the decline or even near retirement. That certainly wasn't the case in 2004 with most of those bowlers still around (being the old guys about to retire, in many cases). In 2001, I admit there were a few about to leave and not that many kids coming through.

You know, you have totally different lists to me. This is 1st Jan 2001:

1 S.M. Pollock SA 901
2 G.D. McGrath AUS 900
3 M. Muralidaran SL 876
4 A.A. Donald SA 845
5 C.A. Walsh WI 818
6 A. Kumble IND 732
7 D. Gough ENG 727
8 Saqlain Mushtaq PAK 715
8 Wasim Akram PAK 715
10 J.N. Gillespie AUS 711

and 1st Jan 2004:

1 M. Muralidaran SL 908
2 S.M. Pollock SA 876
3 Shoaib Akhtar PAK 855
4 G.D. McGrath AUS 808
5 J.N. Gillespie AUS 757
6 M. Ntini SA 754
7 D.R. Tuffey NZ 723
8 S.K. Warne AUS 717
9 A. Kumble IND 698
10 Harbhajan Singh IND 677
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Old 20th November 2007, 02:33   #348
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I like this one. It's almost as good as Tait's test batting record. In fact, I'm still disappointed nobody bit on the comments on the follow on I made on that thread.
I too enjoyed that discussion, although it was starting to get a little off-topic. Good to see that both Tait and Harmison have managed to increase their duck strike-rates in their latest innings though.

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I'd say that the removal of McGrath and Warne from the old lists makes it a bit of an artificial game. One might as well remove Murali from the current list as a legend of the game who will retire in the next few years (or even sooner if he keeps having to bowl at Aussie batsmen on Aussie wickets).
True, but it relates back to the original point (I think) that the apparent lack of depth/quality in the current bowling stocks relates pretty directly to the absence of McGrath and Warne rather than an overall decline in bowling quality outside of those two. My comments were to highlight what I see as a knee jerk reaction of how poor current bowling stocks are without Warne and McGrath, when in reality itís been the case for most of the decade.

I think overall world seam bowling stocks have been light on since perhaps the late Ď90ís when we had the likes of Pollock, McGrath, Donald, Waqar Younis, Bishop, Ambrose, Wasim Akram and Courtney Walsh all bowling, and some at the peak of their careers. On the other hand we have been spoilt by spin bowling talent.

But howís this for a list, just picking a random date in mid 1980:
1 I.T. Botham
2 J. Garner
3 Kapil Dev
4 R.J. Hadlee
5 Imran Khan
6 R.G.D. Willis
7 A.M.E. Roberts
8 M.A. Holding
9 D.K. Lillee
10 C.E.H. Croft

Bowlers outside the top 10 included Safraz Narwaz, Jeff Thomson and Malcolm Marshall! Bit light on the spinners though.

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The thing about the lists is that they do always look stuffed with older bowlers on the way out because they have such a large historical element and of course, because great bowlers tend to play on for a while. My concern is that so few of the top 20 are up and coming bowlers by comparison with the number on the decline or even near retirement.
I think your first point generally addresses your second point, but there are still concerns. As I mentioned previously, I am hopeful for some of the younger bowlers, many of whom have not made an impression on the top 20-odd due to simply not playing enough (bans, drugs, injuries, canít get selected ahead of established veterans, recently debuted etc). I doubt weíll ever see a list like that 1980 one again, unless we change our mindsets on pitch preparation.

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You know, you have totally different lists to me.
Thatís because I was looking at precisely 3 and 6 years ago (ie mid November 2004 and 2001). Interesting how much the lists can change in a year.
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Old 20th November 2007, 23:11   #349
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Test Rankings at 18 November 2007

Batsmen

6 (-1) - Pietersen
16 (-1) - Collingwood
17 (+1) - Cook
20 (+1) - Bell
21 (+1) - Strauss
24 (+1) - Trescothick
26 (+1) - Vaughan
36 (-1) - Flintoff
75 (+2) - Prior
79 (+2) - Jones
93 (+2) - Shah
96 (+2) - Read

Bowlers

9 (-2) - Hoggard
13 (-) - Flintoff
15 (+1) - Panesar
24 (+3) - Harmison
33 (+2) - Anderson
42 (+1) - Sidebottom
46 (+2) - Tremlett
55 (-) - Plunkett
57 (-) - Mahmood
74 (-)- Collingwood
81 (-) - Lewis
84 (-1) - Vaughan
92 (+1) - Pietersen
100 NEW - Bell

Batting
1 Ponting 2 Kallis 3 Sangakkara 4 Yousuf 5 Hussey 6 Pietersen 7 Khan 8 Hayden 9 Chanderpaul 10 Clarke

Bowling
1 Murali 2 Ntini 3 Steyn 4 Clark 5 Lee 6 Bond 7 Kumble 8 Pollock 8 Hoggard 10 Akhtar
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Old 21st November 2007, 00:21   #350
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I thought this thread used to be on the England board? Because we are mainly interested in the England players' rankings, and those are the ones FBU is kind enough to post.

Edit: and I see she now adds the overall top 10 in each category.
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Old 21st November 2007, 00:38   #351
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I thought this thread used to be on the England board? Because we are mainly interested in the England players' rankings, and those are the ones FBU is kind enough to post.

Edit: and I see she now adds the overall top 10 in each category.
I'll leave them out next time. I forget what boards are where because I use quick links and today's posts.

Pietersen is slowly slipping downwards.
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Old 21st November 2007, 00:39   #352
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Strange to see that Bell is now 100th in the bowling list, given that he hasn't bowled since Brisbane 2006/7 when he bowled one over for 12 runs.
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Old 21st November 2007, 00:40   #353
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I'll leave them out next time. I forget what boards are where because I use quick links and today's posts.

Pietersen is slowly slipping downwards.
But was this thread not on the England board? I was sure it was?
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Old 21st November 2007, 00:45   #354
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The more I think about Strauss being dropped the stranger it seems, looking at it more dispassionately than when he was actually playing and getting low scores. Yes, he was out of form for a long time and hadn't scored a century. But he is still around the same place as Bell in the rankings and there were circumstances that contributed to his drop in form, e.g. the way he was treated over the Flintoff captaincy situation. Yet there is Harmison, who has been a continual problem for England and hasn't really bowled consistently (i.e. for more than one match) for a couple of years, now in the 20s in the rankings, and yet England patiently do all they can for him and hate the idea of dropping him.

It does seem so unfair, but I suppose with the batting there hasn't been room for them all and Strauss was the weak link. With the bowling, there hasn't been the depth until this last summer. Now we'll see if Harmison can justify his place.
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Old 21st November 2007, 00:46   #355
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But was this thread not on the England board? I was sure it was?
Yes it is.

I wonder why Vaughan doesn't bowl Bell more. He has the same amount of bowling experience as Bopara.
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Old 21st November 2007, 00:48   #356
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Yes it is.

I wonder why Vaughan doesn't bowl Bell more. He has the same amount of bowling experience as Bopara.
Perhaps the answer is contained in my post #352.
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Old 21st November 2007, 01:18   #357
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The more I think about Strauss being dropped the stranger it seems, looking at it more dispassionately than when he was actually playing and getting low scores. Yes, he was out of form for a long time and hadn't scored a century. But he is still around the same place as Bell in the rankings and there were circumstances that contributed to his drop in form, e.g. the way he was treated over the Flintoff captaincy situation. Yet there is Harmison, who has been a continual problem for England and hasn't really bowled consistently (i.e. for more than one match) for a couple of years, now in the 20s in the rankings, and yet England patiently do all they can for him and hate the idea of dropping him.

It does seem so unfair, but I suppose with the batting there hasn't been room for them all and Strauss was the weak link. With the bowling, there hasn't been the depth until this last summer. Now we'll see if Harmison can justify his place.

Strauss MBE had been struggling for quite a while until he was dropped. Rankings aside, he routinely made starts before getting himself out, and didn't look especially convincing when he was in. As you say, we have much more competition for batting places than we have for bowling ones which is a big reason why a loose cannon like Harmison has survived. Won't go on for much longer though unless he pulls his finger out though, I'm sure of that.
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Old 21st November 2007, 01:28   #358
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I too enjoyed that discussion, although it was starting to get a little off-topic. Good to see that both Tait and Harmison have managed to increase their duck strike-rates in their latest innings though.
They're good, you have to say. Of course, Tait, with fewer total innings, has increased his proportion of ducks much more than Harmison.

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True, but it relates back to the original point (I think) that the apparent lack of depth/quality in the current bowling stocks relates pretty directly to the absence of McGrath and Warne rather than an overall decline in bowling quality outside of those two. My comments were to highlight what I see as a knee jerk reaction of how poor current bowling stocks are without Warne and McGrath, when in reality it’s been the case for most of the decade.
I do see what you mean but both players were coming to the end of their careers even had they not retired so it's not as if we have been robbed of them by exceptional circumstances.

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I think overall world seam bowling stocks have been light on since perhaps the late ‘90’s when we had the likes of Pollock, McGrath, Donald, Waqar Younis, Bishop, Ambrose, Wasim Akram and Courtney Walsh all bowling, and some at the peak of their careers. On the other hand we have been spoilt by spin bowling talent.

But how’s this for a list, just picking a random date in mid 1980:
1 I.T. Botham
2 J. Garner
3 Kapil Dev
4 R.J. Hadlee
5 Imran Khan
6 R.G.D. Willis
7 A.M.E. Roberts
8 M.A. Holding
9 D.K. Lillee
10 C.E.H. Croft

Bowlers outside the top 10 included Safraz Narwaz, Jeff Thomson and Malcolm Marshall! Bit light on the spinners though.
Holy Mother of God. This was back when Botham could bowl, of course but it's still hard to believe he was top of that list. Look at the talent there. Maybe it is the tracks but do you think any modern pace bowler could hold a candle to Thomson or Marshall, let alone Garner, Hadlee, Holding, Lillee or Croft?

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I think your first point generally addresses your second point, but there are still concerns. As I mentioned previously, I am hopeful for some of the younger bowlers, many of whom have not made an impression on the top 20-odd due to simply not playing enough (bans, drugs, injuries, can’t get selected ahead of established veterans, recently debuted etc). I doubt we’ll ever see a list like that 1980 one again, unless we change our mindsets on pitch preparation.
We'll see, I suppose. I rather like the look of some of the younger bowlers coming through too.

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That’s because I was looking at precisely 3 and 6 years ago (ie mid November 2004 and 2001). Interesting how much the lists can change in a year.
I suppose players can cluster together so that a few tests can result in quite large changes in ranking without particularly dramatic changes in rating points. Sometimes the points really do move quite rapidly too.
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Old 21st November 2007, 02:41   #359
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Holy Mother of God. This was back when Botham could bowl, of course but it's still hard to believe he was top of that list.
By the end of August 1980 Both had over 150 wickets at under 19.5 which probably compares about as well as anyone around at that time. Pity he didn't keep it up.

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Maybe it is the tracks but do you think any modern pace bowler could hold a candle to Thomson or Marshall, let along Garner, Hadlee, Holding, Lillee or Croft?
Brett Lee could in a beauty contest. Shoib Akhtar could in the fear stakes, but mostly off the field rather than on it.
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Old 26th November 2007, 02:12   #360
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But was this thread not on the England board? I was sure it was?
It was, but I moved it over here a while back. I know FBU does a proper analysis on England players (which I'm sure everyone's grateful for, I know I am) but other fans do come across this and want to talk about their players rankings too. Better to have this thread for everyone on the international board, than possibly have two separate ones on different boards.
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